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Betting online has opened up an entire new range of bet types and options on the most popular basketball league in the world. The NBA.

The National Basketball Association is one of the most widely wagered upon competitions in the world which means online sportsbooks focus their attention on it heavily. They have live markets which you can bet on during the duration of a game, while their are always a huge amount of futures or fixed odds betting well in advance of the tip-off.


This article will run you through the most popular bet types for wagering on the NBA.

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Most popular betting options

Futures betting

A futures bet allows you to wager on a market that is released well advance of the result. For instance you could bet on Stephen Curry to lead the NBA in points scored a month before the season starts. One of the most popular futures bets is on the outright championship winner. You can find good value with futures because there is no, or less, exposed form to make your judgement on. Once the season commences the futures odds will change almost daily considering the sheer volume of games played in the NBA. So get in early to get the best odds as well as check multiple online sportsbooks for the best price.

Match betting

This is a straight forward bet on which team will win the game. It is available on every game in the NBA. Odds are adjusted according to each teams likelihood of victory. Match betting is probably the best bet to search around across your multiple online bookie accounts to find the best price. The price may not vary greatly from one bookie to the next, but getting yourself the best odds possible and the best return on your money should always be a high priority.

Things to consider before making your bet: are there any injuries to either team? What is each teams record leading into the game?

Handicap betting

Handicap betting or line betting is available on every NBA match. It basically gives the least favoured team a head start, and the favourite a handicap. For example Seattle might be +9.5 points. So if that team wins then you win but if that team loses by less than 9.5 points, you still win. However if they lose by 10 points or more then you lose the bet.

Totals Points Scored

This is a great bet for people who are new to NBA and its different types of bets. If you aren’t familiar with teams, recent performance, players, player injuries, then this is a simple bet to get started and involved. The bookie will devise a points total for the game, for example 195.5, you can either bet whether the combined points total of the game will be above or below that amount. Odds on this are usually around $1.90 because it is essentially a 50/50 bet. It is sometimes known as an over/under bet, with that term used for various markets.

First Basket

Odds for this bet has the possibility to offer up some great returns if a surprising result drains the first basket of the game. This is a bet that is probably best to be made as close as possible to the beginning of the game. That’s to ensure there aren’t any late withdrawals or inclusions to the team. Injuries or sickness may bring in a relief player whose odds of getting first basket are great value and worth a punt.

Player total points

This bet is usually available on the most prolific scorers of each game and boils down to a simple over or under bet. The bookie will nominate a predicted point total for individual players and you bet on whether you think that player will score more or less than the bookie’s prediction. Again, as an over/under bet the odds will be around $1.90.

Quarter winner bets

This is a bet on which team will win each quarter. Quarter bets come with three options: team A, team B or tie. The end result of the game has no baring on quarter bets, so don’t think that because your quarter bet winner wound up losing the game means you have lost the bet. Quarter bets are available on all four quarters of the game.

Total points odd/even

Again, this is a great bet for someone new to the world of NBA punting. This is essentially a 50/50 bet on whether the combined end scores will total an odd or even number, so don’t count on mind blowing odds. The total is calculated by adding both teams’ final scores, for example, Golden State Warriors 104 def Chicago Bulls 101, Both scores combined equals a total of 205: an odd number.

Big win/little win

This bet usually comes with four possible betting options: Team A 1-10 point win, Team A 10+ point win, Team B 1-10 point win, Team B 10+ point win. Just choose which side you think will win and whether the win will be greater or less than 10 points. Odds are adjusted according to the likelihood of each different result.

A brief history and useful links

Since its modest beginnings in 1946, the NBA has exploded across North America and the world. It now boasts 30 teams divided into two conferences: East and West. Each conference is divided into three divisions with each division containing five teams.

The regular seasons consists of 82 games for each team, divided evenly between home and away matches, with the regular season commencing in the last week in October each year. It ends in the middle of the following April with the Playoffs getting underway soon after.

The top eight teams from each conference compete in the Playoffs in a number of best of seven series’ until there are two teams remaining to compete against each other to determine the Championship winners.

Useful pages

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